Are you adding years to your look with your make-up routine? We share the tools, techniques and products that will help you out of your age rut.
If dark black eyeliner, chalky foundation and brown lipstick are your go-tos, you may be adding years to your face without realising it. Luckily, soft lighting and Instagram filters aren’t the only ways to blur the lines of ageing, thanks to new make-up trends and products, which cleverly conceal, highlight and lift features. Now is the perfect time to ditch your old make-up arsenal (and habits) in favour of new and improved formulas and techniques. Here, four top make-up artists explain how to wind back the years.
Prep and prime
The skin concerns you had in your 30s and 40s are not likely to be the same as those you have in your 50s or 60s. As you get older, you may start to notice your skin is drier and duller – the rate of new cells being produced begins to slow down from the age of 25. Other issues include uneven skin tone due to rosacea, broken capillaries and pigmentation – the latter usually stems from sun damage incurred in youth. Luckily, all hope is not lost, thanks to the help of skin-covering perfectors. “Evening out your skin tone with primers, colour correctors, foundation and concealers will help to soften and hide the signs of ageing, ensuring a more youthful appearance,” says L’Oréal Paris NZ make-up director Lisa Matson. However, one of the main reasons women shy away from products such as foundation is that it gets into their lines. The solution? “Prepping skin with a primer will help to soften fine lines,” Matson explains, “and favouring illuminating foundations will ensure lines aren’t exaggerated.” Application is key. “When applying liquid foundation, a beauty sponge allows for even distribution, coverage control and a more flawless finish.”
Just like skin, lips can lose fullness over time, meaning many women lose the confidence to wear lipstick. But bright lipstick can in fact be the elixir of youth. “The best way to find out what colours suit you is to try different shades on,” says Elizabeth Arden’s national make-up specialist, Dorothy Ng. Some lip formulas and colours can look ageing. “Dark colours give you a more mature look, and can make you look washed out,” says Ng. “The same goes for nude lipsticks, as they conceal the natural colour of the lips.” That’s not to say that these shades can’t be worn, but ensure you have “plenty of colour in your complexion enhancers, such as blusher, when wearing these shades.” Preparation is also key, she says. “Exfoliating the lips and using a lip primer will help to hydrate and even out texture.”
Instead of loading thick powder over your foundation, stick to a light dusting of mineral powder through your T-zone. It’s a misconception that you need to completely cover your foundation with a powder. “Really, you should just be applying it to the areas more prone to oiliness,” says Auckland-based make-up artist Sophie Beddoes.
The eyes have it
Applying your eye make-up correctly can give an instant lift. “A heavy liner can look incredible on the right eye shape, where there is enough lid space to work with,” says MAC event artist, Lochie Stonehouse. “In other cases, a softer, lighter and more diffused liner may look more flattering.” Avoid lining your waterline, which can make eyes look smaller, and focus the liner in the lash-line (the root of the lashes). “Gently diffuse the liner with a soft brush to create the illusion of thick youthful lashes,” says Stonehouse. “If you have blue or green eyes, try using a brown liner with a warm undertone. For hazel eyes, try brown with a cool undertone, or a soft grey.”
If you’re wondering where your youthful, healthy glow has gone, you’re not the only one. Sallow, dull skin can be more ageing than wrinkles, but this can be transformed with the magic of make-up.
“Less is more with cheek colour at the moment,” says Stonehouse. Colour aside, he insists that it’s the formula we should be most aware of, and favours cream over powder. “Creams capture the illusion of a youthful complexion by providing the cheeks with a glowing texture that also plumps,” he says. “Powder blushes have their place, although matte ones can look too flat if you want to turn back the clock.”
Harsh lines, stripy make-up and block colours on the lids should be avoided as we age, as they can bring attention to crow’s feet and fine lines. Instead, use brushes that soften and disguise imperfections. Blending is key for a flawless finish, and to help make-up look more natural. Invest in a high quality eyeshadow brush instead of using fingers to apply product, as fingers can pull on the lids. A brush will help your shadow go on evenly. “The same goes for your cheeks,” says make-up artist Sophie Beddoes. “Even if you think it’s blended, do five more strokes.”
Fake it till you make it
If you want to enhance your features with minimal effort, start with the eyes. “Your new best friends should be an eyelash curler and a highlighting shadow. Use the shadow on the inner corner of the eyes, and on the brow bone, to make your eyes look bigger and younger,” says Beddoes. “Using a dark black mascara can also help to make the whites of your eyes appear clearer and whiter,” she says. Eye make-up is not complete without defining and grooming the brows to bring the whole look together. “Thick, full brows can take years off your face,” she says.
For more of this season’s hottest beauty trends check out the latest issue of Simply You on sale now.